Red Bacteria Vacuum

Jun 16, 2011

Red Bacteria Vacuum

With a rough, raw and raucous hardcore-punk edge and a balls-out live show, Red Bacteria Vacuum have become one of Japan’s most revered underground bands. Formed in Osaka in 1998, the trio — Ikumi (guitar/vocals), Kassan (bass/vocals) and Jasmine (drums), none of whom use ...

Puffyshoes just wanna have fun

Jun 9, 2011

Puffyshoes just wanna have fun

Shorter is nearly always better. The Pixies managed to cram three verses and choruses into just 94 seconds on “Trompe le Monde” track “Palace of the Brine,” and it became one of the best songs they ever wrote. And just look at almost any ...

Gekijoban Shinsei Kamattechan (Shinsei Kamattechan the Movie)

| May 20, 2011

Gekijoban Shinsei Kamattechan (Shinsei Kamattechan the Movie)

Director: Yu Irie Language: Japanese Like The Beatles, Elvis and Guitar Wolf before them, rising Japanese Net-savvy meta-punk band Shinsei Kamattechan have got their own movie. It follows several threads — one based on the major-label band’s (fictional) struggle to retain artistic freedom, the ...

Go! Team hope to rock Japan in a good way

May 12, 2011

Go! Team hope to rock Japan in a good way

“People are scaredy-cats, aren’t they?” laughs Ian Parton, founder of British cut-and-paste kitsch-pop outfit The Go! Team, when told that many Western bands have canceled their Japan tours in the wake of March’s radiation-tinged triple disaster in the Tohoku region. Luckily, Parton and Co. ...

Wright, Cera get 1-up in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World'

Apr 29, 2011

Wright, Cera get 1-up in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World'

“Scott in the comics almost reminds me of Homer Simpson; you get to see what’s going on in his head, and there’s not much going on,” says Hollywood indie poster-boy Michael Cera when asked about his role as the title character in the adrenaline-soaked ...

Various artists: 'GO!GO! A GO!GO! — GO!GO!7188 Tribute'

Apr 8, 2011

Various artists: "GO!GO! A GO!GO! — GO!GO!7188 Tribute"

Though they’ve never quite gone supernova, Tokyo trio GO!GO!7188 have always fared better than should be expected of such an unusual band, frequently loitering in the higher echelons of the charts with their curious blend of reverb-soaked rockabilly guitar, beefy beats, genre-busting tunes and ...

Jett, Currie return to Runaways era

Mar 11, 2011

Jett, Currie return to Runaways era

Back in the late 1970s, they changed everything. And then they disappeared. One of the very first all-girl rock bands to achieve success, teenage five-piece The Runaways paved the way for decades of female musicians to come — and more importantly, they totally rocked. ...

Punk icon Lydon shows fondness for Japan in book

Mar 4, 2011

Punk icon Lydon shows fondness for Japan in book

“The best night I’ve ever had was to be accused of being a bad Johnny Rotten in Kyoto,” laughs John Lydon, frontman of punk pioneers The Sex Pistols and groundbreaking postpunk band Public Image Ltd. Speaking on the phone from his adopted home of ...

Kuriyama trades her blades for a song

Mar 4, 2011

Kuriyama trades her blades for a song

She’s died on screen almost as many times as she’s killed. Western movie fans will know her as Gogo Yubari, the spiked-ball-and-chain-wielding schoolgirl who disembowels men for fun before crying tears of blood in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.” In Japan, she’s been ...

Bluesy rock duo oh sunshine set for an early rise

Feb 4, 2011

Bluesy rock duo oh sunshine set for an early rise

“I grew up watching anime, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a really cool language!’ ” says Emily Connor, four-year Tokyo resident and singer with new pop duo oh sunshine. “So it became my goal to be able to watch this one-hour film without subtitles. ...